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Azawashkomaengun
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: SabiaJD]
      #5747821 - 03/21/13 03:09 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

Can anyone identify the object to the left of Panstarrs in this picture taken at Calgary Alberta.

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BSJ
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: Azawashkomaengun]
      #5747831 - 03/21/13 03:17 PM

con-trail

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Mike B.
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: BSJ]
      #5748299 - 03/21/13 06:56 PM

Can anyone identify the object(s) blocking my view of Comet Pan-STARRS in the image below?



LoL! Yeah, that's right... Clouds! I had to wait for the comet to descend and get in a crack in between them. I was able to snap a few pics and I saw the comet in the 10x50's for a few minutes before the clouds came and gobbled it up. Its gotten smaller, IMO. Dimmer, too. Still has a very condensed pseudo-nucleus.

I took this image on the evening of March 20, 2013, with a 200mm F.L. telephoto lens. Its cropped down to the central region. Exposures was 1 second at ISO 1600 and F/2.8.


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bremms
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5748582 - 03/21/13 09:39 PM

YEAAAAA Finally saw the comet tonight. Pretty clear at sunset. Wasn't too hard to see in my 7x50's. central coma was quite concentrated with a fan shaped tail about 25-30'long. My three year old couldn't really catch it in the bino's. We were at a lake in out hood and a very sweet cat came over to hang out. He named the cat Comet.

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magic612
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: bremms]
      #5748718 - 03/21/13 11:09 PM

For the first night in weeks, I had perfectly clear skies to the west tonight. It was cold, but at least there was very little wind. I hadn't used my 400mm telephoto lens since my film camera days, and I wasn't sure how well it would work with the DSLR. Surprisingly, it didn't pick up as much CA as I feared it might (it was REALLY inexpensive), and got what I think is a decent photo of the comet. The stars 55 and 54 Piscium are to the upper left in the photo. Got stars down to at least 10.4 magnitude as well. Not bad for a 6 second exposure, I'd say.

One thing I noticed in this picture is what I assume is the dust from the comet to the left. Notice how there is a sharp line to the right where the dust stops. But left of there, it sort of fades out for a ways. Is that dust glowing that it left behind and has moved past? Or the dual-tail? I'm trying to determine what exactly I captured there; I boosted the contrast in the photo slightly to bring it out more.

Thoughts?

Incidentally, this was taken at 8:15 pm local time, and the comet was about 6 degrees off the horizon at that point.



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mikehager
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: magic612]
      #5748741 - 03/21/13 11:22 PM

Panstarrs appears to have faded significantly since Mar 19, two days ago, unless there were non-obvious interfering clouds or loss in seeing conditions. My qualitative assessment is that the comet held its brightness pretty well up through March 19. Do others observe this?

We did change viewing site from wooded area to lake but I thought this would enhance viewing, other things being equal.


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krp
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: johnpd]
      #5748917 - 03/22/13 01:08 AM

On 3/19 it was cold and very windy, but clear. I got a shaky view of Panstarrs in my 8" dob, the core looked like a bright yellow star. I'm sure I could have seen more detail if not for the wind, I didn't even try higher magnification than 70x. Once I blocked the glare from a streetlight, I could see it quite clearly naked eye, I could even make out the tail. But I think it was only visible naked eye for a short time between the glow of twilight and the haze on the horizon.
Here's a photo before it set:

Panstarrs from Backyard by kevin-palmer, on Flickr


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canopus56
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: krp]
      #5748996 - 03/22/13 02:50 AM Attachment (14 downloads)

Observing report for 3-21-2013 8:45pm

Comet C/2011 L4 Panstarrs - Central coma, poor quality
http://www.slas.us/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=5632

I located and tracked Panstarrs again tonight after the spring storm cleared out. Panstarrs is still visible, probably only for a few more days, in the advancing spring twilight. The comet was acquired at 8:35pm and tracked to 8:50pm, and during that period, a quick pic using a Meade 125 ETX and an old DSI C camera in monochrome mode was taken. Initially, I was unable to locate the comet, but much later in the evening when the advancing spring twilight had receded sufficiently, sufficient contrast developed and the 3-4 arcmin coma with a 10 arcmin tail could be seen. The comet had to be located by GOTO, and I could not find with binoculars. At the time of acquisition, a mag 2.0 star in Pegasus was visible in a darker twilight band about 20 degs above the horizon, but at the 7 deg alt of the comet, only a neutral light blue sky and no stars were visible.

The eyepiece true image is not well represented by the photograph. At this low altitude, the comet was pale white against a neutral blue grey sky.

Although the comet is pulling away from the horizon, it is being overtaken in altitude by the advancing length of twilight after sunset. But it can still be found at an increasing later time after sunset and sufficient contrast only occurs between about 7 degs above the horizon down to intersect with a horizon ridgeline.

Clear skies, Kurt


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Erik Bakker
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: magic612]
      #5749026 - 03/22/13 03:49 AM Attachment (14 downloads)

Quote:

For the first night in weeks, I had perfectly clear skies to the west tonight. It was cold, but at least there was very little wind. I hadn't used my 400mm telephoto lens since my film camera days, and I wasn't sure how well it would work with the DSLR. Surprisingly, it didn't pick up as much CA as I feared it might (it was REALLY inexpensive), and got what I think is a decent photo of the comet. The stars 55 and 54 Piscium are to the upper left in the photo. Got stars down to at least 10.4 magnitude as well. Not bad for a 6 second exposure, I'd say.

One thing I noticed in this picture is what I assume is the dust from the comet to the left. Notice how there is a sharp line to the right where the dust stops. But left of there, it sort of fades out for a ways. Is that dust glowing that it left behind and has moved past? Or the dual-tail? I'm trying to determine what exactly I captured there; I boosted the contrast in the photo slightly to bring it out more.

Thoughts?

Incidentally, this was taken at 8:15 pm local time, and the comet was about 6 degrees off the horizon at that point.






Very nice picture of the comet.

I observed on the same day around the same time form the other side of our planet, included is the rough sketch I made yesterday of the comet in my 18x70 Nikon bino.


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Tonk
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Erik Bakker]
      #5749071 - 03/22/13 05:20 AM

Nuts! - I've now run 6 100+ mile trips to a bunch of higher altitude observation points across the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors over the last couple of weeks. [Tow Scar, Sutton Bank, Dallow Moor, Hole of Horcum, Armscliff Crag] Last night I drove for 3 hours (there and back again) only to see the predicted clear skies at the Hole of Horcum (view to west - here) appear only after the comet was still in the retreating cloud bank out to teh west. So thats clouds 5 - comet 1 so far. I'm now giving up for a week until the moon is out of the way around 28/29.

Truth is its just been far too cloudy and the weather forcasts far too unreliable. I noticed yesterday that the BBC/Met Office detailed cloud charts radically changed every 3 hours during the day making it very uncertain where the clear sky holes were going to be. Just turned out the cloud holes I found were too small (20-30 miles across) to get the long view to the low horizon.


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BrooksObs
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Tonk]
      #5749211 - 03/22/13 08:42 AM

In regard to the tail issues cited above and the impression that the trailing side is decidedly less well defined than the leading, indeed that is true. In fact, the breadth of the dust is upwards of 100-degrees in the best images, one of the broadest dust tails ever recorded together with showing the strongest degree of curvature over a limited range of distance. Have other not seen some of the deep images of this comet? In such, when appreciating their scale, PanSTARRS looks likely a very large and spectacular comet rendered in miniature!

Addressing the comet's brightness, yes, it is most certainly fading, but not any more rapidly than anticipated by the formula I most recently posted upstream. Currently the integrated magnitude of the comet's head is about +3.0 and is likely to drop into the 4's by the end of the month. By the time PanSTARRS finally reaches reasonable dark skies in early April little more than a modest binocular comet will likely be left of it to observe.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (03/22/13 08:46 AM)


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dyslexic nam
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5749346 - 03/22/13 10:02 AM

I have been out a couple of times in the last week - on the 16th and 19th.  Used my old 7x50's and my Pentax 20x60's.  Very cool to see it so well and so clearly.  It was faintly visible to the naked eye, but really came out in the bino's.  Actually, it really came out even more on the Canon DSLR, but someone hijacked my computer so I can't upload them.  Grr.

It looked pretty awesome.  This is the first comet I have viewed in a serious way since getting into astronomy, so I am glad we had some great clear nights right around prime time for it. 

Now I am really looking foreard to ISON. 


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Jure Atanackov
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: dyslexic nam]
      #5749431 - 03/22/13 10:45 AM

I had a good look at PanSTARRS last evening (Mar 21.77UT) under excellent conditions and estimated it at +2.8 mag with the naked eye. Will post my observations later.
CS!Jure


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Mike B.
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: magic612]
      #5749997 - 03/22/13 03:44 PM

Quote:

For the first night in weeks, I had perfectly clear skies to the west tonight. It was cold, but at least there was very little wind. I hadn't used my 400mm telephoto lens since my film camera days, and I wasn't sure how well it would work with the DSLR. Surprisingly, it didn't pick up as much CA as I feared it might (it was REALLY inexpensive), and got what I think is a decent photo of the comet. The stars 55 and 54 Piscium are to the upper left in the photo. Got stars down to at least 10.4 magnitude as well. Not bad for a 6 second exposure, I'd say.

One thing I noticed in this picture is what I assume is the dust from the comet to the left. Notice how there is a sharp line to the right where the dust stops. But left of there, it sort of fades out for a ways. Is that dust glowing that it left behind and has moved past? Or the dual-tail? I'm trying to determine what exactly I captured there; I boosted the contrast in the photo slightly to bring it out more.

Thoughts?

Incidentally, this was taken at 8:15 pm local time, and the comet was about 6 degrees off the horizon at that point.






I think the sharp edge is the leading edge and the dust is pushed back by the comet's motion through space. But, I've noticed that adding blue tends to darken things in my image editor, so maybe the blue ion tail area could be darker than the background LP? Doesn't blue when mixed with red and green (like LP from HPS and Hg-vapor) make black?? What do you think?


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Tonk
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Mike B.]
      #5750435 - 03/22/13 07:22 PM

Quote:

Doesn't blue when mixed with red and green make black




No - additive red/green/blue colour mixing, as in mixing light, makes white. You are thinking of subtractive pigments as in mixing paint.

A better explanation is the contrast between ion tail and sky is low i.e. the sky is just too bright to see that tiny extra amount of light due to the ion tail


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Mike B.
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Tonk]
      #5750613 - 03/22/13 09:01 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Doesn't blue when mixed with red and green make black




No - additive red/green/blue colour mixing, as in mixing light, makes white. You are thinking of subtractive pigments as in mixing paint.

A better explanation is the contrast between ion tail and sky is low i.e. the sky is just too bright to see that tiny extra amount of light due to the ion tail




Doh! Yep, you're right. I forgot that it is backwards for light. But, what happens when it is in a RAW, TIFF or JPG file? Is it still additive?


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bryguy27007
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Mike B.]
      #5750872 - 03/22/13 10:50 PM

I'm on the coast in the Bay Area. Sun just set and I'm hoping to be able to spot it in an hour or so but my sister and I don't have binoculars or a telescope. It'll be tough but worth a shot. I've never seen a comet before.

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Tonk
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: bryguy27007]
      #5751203 - 03/23/13 04:52 AM

Quote:

But, what happens when it is in a RAW, TIFF or JPG file? Is it still additive?




Always additive - its physics outside the camera - not anything to do with an image coding/compression format

Quote:

I forgot that it is backwards for light




Na! - its backwards for light absorbing pigments


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REC
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: magic612]
      #5751456 - 03/23/13 09:56 AM

Nice shot with that 400mm!

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magic612
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: REC]
      #5751858 - 03/23/13 01:04 PM

Quote:

Nice shot with that 400mm!




Thanks Bob! Take enough shots and you're bound to get lucky with a couple of them.


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